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CMS to Provide Public Access to Physician Payment Data – In a recent post on its official blog, CMS announced it will provide “unprecedented access” to information on services delivered by individual physicians and certain other health care professionals in 2012, as well as the amount Medicare paid them for those services.  The CMS blog post followed letters to the American Medical Association and Florida Medical Association summarizing the same policy.  While limitations to what is released will take into account patient privacy, CMS noted that the public’s interest in the physician information outweighs the physicians’ privacy interest with respect to the payment data CMS plans to make publicly available. 

Obama Signs the Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014 – On April 1, 2014, President Obama signed into law the “Protecting Access to Medicare Act of 2014.”  Among other changes, the Act provides for (1) a 12-month extension for Medicare physician payments; (2) the delay of the “two-midnight” policy, prohibiting recovery audit contractors from conducting reviews of inpatient claims with dates of admission October 1, 2013 through March 31, 2015, unless there is “evidence of systematic gaming, fraud, abuse, or delays in the provision of care by a provider of services;” and (3) the delay of transition from ICD–9 to ICD–10 code sets until at least October 1, 2015.

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DISCLAIMER: Because of the generality of this update, the information provided herein may not be applicable in all situations and should not be acted upon without specific legal advice based on particular situations.

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